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Growing the Great Pumpkin

by Laura Overdeck

With Halloween coming soon, people are gathering pumpkins to carve, paint, or bake into pies. And as shared by our fan Lillian I., for some people no pumpkin is too big. In this video, pumpkin ninja Ron Wallace tells us how he grows his giant pumpkins. In 2009 he was the first grower ever to grow a 2,000-pound pumpkin. Then last year, the 2,230-pounder he grew broke the North American record for the heaviest pumpkin ever – it weighed as much as a small car! Ron works hard to grow these crazy squashes. He replants seeds from other giant pumpkins, spends hours watering and trimming, and chases away mice and bugs. Big pumpkins taste really gross and can’t be baked into pie, but people pay $1,000 just to buy a seed from his farm!

Wee ones: Ron has grown 18-foot tall sunflowers. That’s as tall as a stack of 3 grown-ups! Look at a grown-up, and imagine stacking 2 more grown-ups that size on top of his/her head.

Little kids: Pumpkins are round. Can you name 3 shapes that are round?  Bonus: If Ron plants seeds in May and picks the pumpkins 5 months later, in what month does he pick them?

Big kids: If you have $800, how much more money do you need to buy a $1,000 magic pumpkin seed from Ron?  Bonus: If every pound of pumpkin can make 2 pies, how many yucky-tasting pies could be baked from Ron’s 2,230-pound pumpkin?

Wee ones: Picture 3 grown-ups standing on each other’s heads!

Little kids: Answers might include a circle, oval, “sphere” (ball) and “torus” (donut).  Bonus: In October.

Big kids: $200 more.  Bonus: 4,460 pies!

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